Smoked salmon, is there anything better? We all know everyone has their “secret” recipe, but in reality most are quite similar with just a few variations. Almost always salt, sugar and some spices are common ingredients. I used to use a liquid brine, but in the last few years I was introduced to a dry recipe called “Salmon Candy”. It has by far created the best smoked salmon coming out of my home and doesn’t last long once friends and co-workers know I have some in the fridge.
The ingredients needed for “Salmon Candy” are:
– 1 Cup White Sugar
– 1 Cup Brown Sugar
– 1/3 Cup Salt
– 2 Tbsp. Onion Powder
– 2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
– 2 Tbsp. Pepper
As you can see, there a quite a few ingredients involved which not only takes up space in the pantry, but also requires measuring and mixing the ingredients.
– Place the fish skin side down in a glass, plastic or non-metallic container. I used my wife’s Pampered Chef marinating containers, which are now designated specifically for smoking fish.
– Liberally sprinkle “NorthWest Salmon Candy” to the flesh of the salmon.
– Place another layer of salmon and repeat. Some people prefer to place the fish flesh to flesh and skin to skin. I too have found this to be a good method and generally follow this rule although not all the time and I haven’t noticed a difference.
– Seal the container and place in the refrigerator
– Flip the container upside down (if the container allows for this) after 24 hours. If you can’t flip it, take the fish and rotate the fish from bottom to top. – You’ll notice a lot of juice forming, this is normal.
– After another 24 hours take out and gently rinse and place on paper towels. Do not rinse ALL the product off, just the excess.
– Once towel dried for 1/2 an hour, it’s ready to load the smoker.
Smokers are a whole different subject, but they’ll all do the job. Smoking times and heat will vary depending on the smoker and if you’ve had good success using your smoker a certain way I’d stick to it.
I now use a Treager Smoker and love it!. It’s so simple, just set the Treager on “smoke” and it keeps it at a constant 160 degrees. Depending on the thickness and your desired doneness, it should take between 6 and 8 hours. A “normal” size coho will require about 6 hours, then go up from there.
Another variable is the type of wood used. Traditionally alder is used for smoked salmon, but I have to say I now like “mixed” smoke better. Half and half of Alder and Hickory, Alder and Cherry, or Alder and Mesquite give it a nice unique flavor.
It always turns out spectacular!